ARCHIVES OF THE INVINCIBLE IN AMERICAN MUSIC: TRACING TRANSPACIFIC CROSSING OF CHINESE OPERA
March 17, 2022, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
The defining tunes of the Chinese diaspora in the nineteenth century and the early twentieth were those of the Cantonese opera. This history, however, has been invisible largely due to the scarcity of Chinese materials in archives. Its sonic imageries were also imprisoned by the mounting derision in historical English newspapers and travelogues. What were the patterns of networks and migrations that made Chinese opera a part of North American cultures? How did border crossing, listening practices, and visual emblems constitute their sounding identity? This talk offers readings against the grain and considers the ways that archives structure and frame not only our understanding of the past but how we enter into the present and future.
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